The Guardian: The real lesson of the Iraq invasion
The Guardian newspaper published a report by Jonathan Friedland entitled “The real lesson of the invasion of Iraq… Beware of spies and allies who might drag you into war”.
Friedland wrote in the report that he spent the past week delving into documentaries, news programs, and articles about the US invasion of Iraq, and he came out of that immersion and meditation on the invasion with two main lessons.
The first lesson is not to do hurt or harm: The arguments made by Blair and Bush for the war on Iraq are manifold, but the basic principle of the case for military intervention was that this was for the benefit of the Iraqi people themselves, who would be liberated from the grip of a brutal tyrant.
Saddam Hussein was overthrown, but at a heavy cost, about 300,000 lives, according to one estimate, mostly Iraqi civilians.
The invasion created a vacuum filled with terror and bloodshed.
For many Iraqis, the cure prescribed by Bush and Blair was worse than the disease.
A former senior intelligence officer told him this week: “No matter how horrible the system is, chaos and disorder is worse”.
Lesson two, when it comes to secret intelligence, be skeptic: When raising the issue of war, Blair focused heavily on the intelligence he had seen, which, proved, and beyond a shadow of a doubt that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.
However, it turned out to be completely wrong: there were no weapons of mass destruction.
The Chilcot inquiry into the invasion of Iraq concluded that the then prime minister had deliberately exaggerated the threat, and that fact alone is enough to condemn Blair in the eyes of history.
One of the lessons learned from the invasion of Iraq is that even the closest allies shouldn’t provide comprehensive support to each other.
Blair justified his actions by saying that London was the strongest ally of Washington, and that is why it was led to participate in the invasion of Iraq.